Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS5544647 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/346,524
Publication dateAug 13, 1996
Filing dateNov 29, 1994
Priority dateNov 29, 1994
Fee statusPaid
Also published asCA2181789A1, CA2181789C, DE69524865D1, DE69524865T2, EP0746366A1, EP0746366A4, EP0746366B1, WO1996016686A1
Publication number08346524, 346524, US 5544647 A, US 5544647A, US-A-5544647, US5544647 A, US5544647A
InventorsWarren Jewett, Frederick A. Ebeling
Original AssigneeIep Group, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Metered dose inhalator
US 5544647 A
A metered dose inhaler is described having an improved electronic counting means to indicate the doses remaining in the aerosol canister component of the inhaler assembly.
Previous page
Next page
What is claimed is:
1. An assembly with a metered dose inhalation canister containing a pre-determined number of doses of an aerosol formulation, for delivery orally or intra-nasally, which comprises;
(a) a hollow closed tube having
(i) a first open end adapted by size and configuration to receive a spray stem of an aerosol inhalation canister;
(ii) a second open end adapted by size and configuration to couple with an oral or nasal orifice of a mammal;
(b) a spray-directing element fixedly located within said tube hollow, and having continuous communication with the first open end and the second open end, for directing sprays of the formulation through a portion of the hollow and out of the second open end of said tube, when the inhalation canister is assembled with the apparatus and activated by a user;
(c) a metered dose inhalation canister slidably mounted in the first open end of the tube for delivery of a metered dose to the spray-directing element;
(d) microelectronic means associated with the tube for indicating the number of doses remaining in the canister, after each activation; and
(e) switch means for activating said microelectronic means, said switch means being isolated from exposure to the tube hollow;
said microelectronic means being enclosed within a hermetically sealed sleeve housing, mountable on the canister and adapted by size and configuration to slide over the tube exterior.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the switch means comprises a membrane switch.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the switch means comprises a membrane switch.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the switch means comprises a pneumatic pressure responsive switch.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the switch means comprises a switch responsive to electromagnetic radiation.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the switch comprises a light sensor.
7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the switch comprises a proximity switch.
8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the microelectronic means comprises an application specific integrated circuit programmed to indicate the number of doses remaining after each actuation.
9. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the sleeve has a leading edge which includes the switch means and the tube exterior includes a stop ring for contacting and closing the switch means.
10. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the microelectronic means includes
(a) a power source;
(b) an application specific integrated circuit; and
(c) a light-emitting diode.

1. Field of Invention

This invention is directed to inhalers for the controlled inhalation of medication by a patient through self-activation. More particularly, it is directed to an inhaler which releases measured doses of pressurized medication, in spray form into the mouth or nose, and constantly accounts for the doses remaining.

2. Brief Description of Related Art

The use of inhalers is well known and the art has developed over the past twenty five years to cover many versions of the basic concept of a "pumping" type medication applicator. The device may be manually pumped (such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,284,132) or a pumping like cycle may be utilized. The medication may be repeatedly released from a disposable canister to create repeated sprays or inhalations as needed.

Representative of the early inhalers for oral and intra-nasal administration of medications are those described in, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,361,306; 3,183,907; 3,565,070; 4,206,758; 4,803,978; 4,934,358; 4,955,371; 5,060,643; and 5,351,683. Representative of nasal-pharyngeal inhalers for large mammals such as a horse is that described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,062,423.

Metered dose inhalers (MDIs) are, at present, the most efficient and best-accepted means for accurately delivering drugs in small doses to the respiratory tract. Therapeutic agents commonly delivered by the inhalation route include bronchodilators (B2 agonists and anticholinergics), corticosteroids, and anti-allergics. Inhalation may also be a viable route for anti-infective, vaccinating, systemically acting and diagnostic agents, as well as anti-leukotrienes, antiproteases and the like.

MDIs are available in several types. Most frequently, MDIs comprise a pressure resistant container (canister) typically filled with a product such as a drug dissolved in a liquified propellant, or micronized particles suspended in a liquified propellant. The container is fitted with a metering valve. The valve is movable from an inner (charging) position to an outer (discharging) position. A spring bias holds the valve in the charging position until forced to the discharging position. Actuation of the metering valve allows a metered portion of the container content to be released, whereby the pressure of the liquified propellant carries the dissolved or micronized drug particles out of the container and to the patient. A valve actuator also functions to direct the aerosol as a spray into the patient's oropharynx. Surfactants are usually dissolved in the aerosol formulation and can serve the dual functions of lubricating the valve and reducing aggregation of micronized particles.

Representative of pharmaceutical formulations for use in metered dose inhalers are those described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,190,029. The MDI devices for administering such pharmaceutical formulations are also well known as seen for example in the descriptions given in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,361,306; 3,565,070; and 4,955,371.

A disadvantage arising from use of the known devices is that the patient cannot determine the amount of medicament in the aerosol container at any given time. The containers are generally not transparent to view, being light protective of the contents. Shaking them will not always reveal auditory information as to their contents. In an extreme case this could mean that the patient, possibly suffering from severe bronchospasm or like emergency condition and needing a dose of medicament, will find that the aerosol container will not dispense a dose, because its contents have been previously exhausted. The problem has been recognized and consideration given to solutions. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,817,822 describes an inhaler device which includes a counting means for indicating the relative emptiness of a container or the number of doses dispensed. However, this inhaler counting mechanism is physically attached to the aerosol container as well as the inhaler, such as by a retaining ring or retaining cap. In one embodiment, the counting means is a separate sleeve fitting on the up-turned bottom of the aerosol container. It is easy to lose, not being integrated with the inhaler, but an ancillary unit slipped over the loose aerosol container. In another embodiment, the counting means requires a secured attachment to the aerosol container neck, which prevents removal of the container from the inhaler, even when empty. The inhaler device is only useful for use with the original aerosol container and can not be used with aerosol refill containers.

The U.S. Pat. No. 5,020,527 presents an improvement over the dose counting means of U.S. Pat. No. 4,817,822 wherein the mechanical counter can be replaced with an electronic counter. The improved inhaler can indicate the number of doses remaining in the aerosol container. However, the device is not fool-proof in operation, which can be a disadvantage in the hands of a severely debilitated, confused or forgetful patient. In households which include small children they have been known to "play" with the MDI's when unsupervised access is possible. Infants can accidentally reset or interfere with established counts in the mechanical devices. For example, the counter can be accidentally reset, obviating its usefulness and, in fact, misleading of the patient as to the true number of doses remaining in the container. Also, the counter can not be automatically reset when a full, new aerosol container (refill) is to be used. This can affect the accuracy of the count carried out.

In addition, the inhaler of the U.S. Pat. No. 5,020,527 still employs a mechanical trigger to actuate the counting means. It is subject to triggering of the counter without actual administration of a dose from the container, for example, when the aerosol container is removed and the inhaler device washed and disinfected, independent of the aerosol container.

These, and other problems associated with the inhalers of the prior art are solved by the present invention, described hereinafter.


The invention comprises apparatus for assembly with a canister containing a predetermined number of doses of a pharmaceutical formulation, for administration orally or intra-nasally, which comprises;

(a) a hollow, tube having

(i) a first end adapted by size and configuration to hold the formulation;

(ii) a second open end adapted by size and configuration to couple with an oral or nasal orifice of a mammal;

(b) a formulation-directing element fixedly located within said tube hollow, and having continuous communication with the first end and the second open end, for directing the formulation through a portion of the hollow and out of the second open end of said tube, when the inhaler is activated by a user; and

(c) microelectronic means associated with the tube for indicating the number of formulation doses remaining in the tube, after each activation;

said microelectronic means being activated by switch means isolated from exposure to the tube hollow.

The apparatus of the invention is useful to administer medications orally or intra-nasally to a mammal, including a human. It is relatively simple to operate, even by young children (6 to 12 years of age) who may require such treatment as the inhalers will provide.

The invention enables one to maintain a count of doses remaining for administration in MDIs of the type activated manually or by the act of inhalation, administering powders as well as liquid aerosols.


Embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional in-part side view of an embodiment metered dose inhaler of the invention shown in assembly with a metered dose inhaler aerosol canister, shown prior to activation.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view of the assembly shown in FIG. 1, during activation.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the microelectronic means for indicating the number of doses remaining in the aerosol canister, in cross-section.

FIG. 5 is a front view of the inhaler of FIG. 1 and the instrumentation panel on the microelectronic means shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an illustration of an embodiment microelectronic circuit component of the microelectronic indicator means shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.

FIG. 7 is a side view-in-perspective of the exterior of another embodiment inhaler of the invention with another microswitch location to actuate the microelectronic means.

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional side elevation of an alternate embodiment inhaler of the invention.

FIG. 9 is still another cross-sectional side elevation of another embodiment inhaler of the invention.

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional side view of a portion of another embodiment inhaler of the invention.

FIG. 11 is a view-in-perspective of another embodiment inhaler of the invention.

FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram of a preferred circuit for a proximity switch used in the apparatus of the invention.

FIG. 13 is a circuit diagram schematically showing a preferred dose counter for use in the invention.

FIG. 14 is a block diagram showing the preferred microelectronic means used in the invention.


There are several embodiments of the invention, differing from each other in respect to the mode of actuating the microelectronic means.

Those skilled in the art will gain an understanding of the invention from a reading of the following description of the preferred embodiments when read in conjunction with a viewing of the accompanying drawings of FIGS. 1-14, inclusive.


Referring first to FIG. 1, there is seen a cross-sectional side elevation of an embodiment metered dose inhaler 10 of the invention. The inhaler 10 is essentially a hollow tube 12 having a first open end 14, which by size and configuration is adapted to receive in assembly an aerosol canister 16. A small vent aperture 13 may be advantageous to vent the tube 12 during use, allowing ambient air in. The aerosol canister 16 is fitted with a conventional metering valve (not seen in FIG. 1) and spray stem 18. Such canisters 16 are commercially available from the Bespak Co., North Carolina, U.S.A. They may contain any of the pharmaceutical preparations conventionally used in oral and nasal medicators, such as described for example in the U.S. Pat. No. 5,190,029. The assembled tube 12 and canister 16 locates the canister 16 partially within tube 12 hollow 20, although other embodiments as described below may fully contain the canister 16. Open end 22 communicates with hollow 20 and is adapted by size and configuration to form a mouthpiece for insertion in the oral cavity of a patient and to couple or sealingly engage with the oral lips for inspiration and expiration of the breath of a mammal. Alternatively, end 22 can be adapted to engage with the patient's nasal passages. Within the hollow 20 is fixedly mounted a spray-directing element 23 which includes a continuous internal conduit 24. The conduit 24 couples with the stem 18 of the aerosol canister 16 and directs a metered dose therefrom out of nozzle 26 as a spray toward the open end 22 of the tube 12 when the canister 16 is pushed downwardly by the user. The valve of canister 16 is activated to release a metered dose. The valve is activated when the patient pushes the canister 16 downward, forcing the stem 18 against the element 23, opening the valve mentioned above. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the interior walls of tube 12 at end 14 and inward may be closely fitted to the walls of canister 16 (a sliding engagement) so the canister 16 will move freely within hollow 20 until stem 18 is stopped by element 23, but is sufficiently close fitting to avoid escape of aerosol spray through open end 14 during use. The FIG. 2 is a top view of the inhaler 10 as shown in FIG. 1, providing further details. As shown in both FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the up-turned canister 16 slidingly engaged in the hollow 20 through end 14 is accessible to be pushed down on element 23. When depressed upon element 23, the valve on the canister 16 opens to release a metered dose of the aerosol formulation, through stem 18 and conduit 24 to spray from nozzle 26 towards the open end 22 of the tube 12. One dose is released from aerosol canister 16 each time it is fully depressed upon element 23. Release of pressure on canister 16 returns it to the non-depressed position, charging its valve for a further discharge of a dose when the valve is again activated. As shown in FIG. 3 the valve is concealed within the neck of canister 16, and functions when the stem 18 is pushed interiorly of canister 16; the valve itself is not shown in the FIGS. 1-3 being conventional and within the enclosure of the container 16 itself. As described to this point inhaler 10 is a known device, and can be for example as detailed in the U.S. Pat. No. 3,361,306. The known inhaler is modified as described hereinafter to manufacture the inhaler 10 of the invention. Integral to tube 12 and preferably molded on the exterior of tube 12 in a location visible to the user during use, is a hermetically sealed enclosure 30 for the containment of microelectronic means for indicating the number of doses remaining in the canister 16 after each activation and release of a metered dose. The containment of the microelectronic counter means within a hermetically sealed enclosure 30 permits the user to remove the canister 16 at any time, to wash the tube 12 (inside and out) with water, soaps, disinfectants and antiseptic solutions with no damage to or interference with an ongoing count, as will be described more fully hereinafter. This is important, because sprays of many aerosol formulations leave tacky residues which will entrap dust and dirt particles. Some provide a media for the growth of undesired microorganisms. If the growth of these microorganisms is unchecked, they can serve as a source of infection for the patient, and will often introduce pathogens into the patent's respiratory tract. Referring now to FIG. 4, there is seen diagrammatically an enlarged view in cross-section of an embodiment microelectronic means for counting the doses remaining in canister 16, sealed within the enclosure 30. The FIG. 4 does not show the electrical wiring between component parts, for clarity of the drawing. Hermetically sealed within the enclosure 30 is a power source 32, for example, a long-life battery such as the conventional and known nickel-cadmium or lithium batteries putting out circa 1 to 1.5 volts of electric power. Mounted on a printed circuit board 34 and powered by the power source 32 is an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) 36 such as a logic array or a microprocessor programmed to process electrical signals from a sensor and trigger a signalling device 38 such as, for example, a tactile alerting device, an audible alarm, a visual indicator 40, for example a light emitting diode (LED) or a liquid crystal display (LCD) to give an alpha-numeric readout. LCD devices controlled by electronic signals from ASIC 36 are well known and may be for example the type described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,804,953; 5,227,899; and 5,227,901. The ASIC 36 is a control means and if it is more specifically a microprocessor it includes a suitable central processing unit (CPU) for operating the control functions of ASIC 36, described more fully hereinafter. The ASIC 36 can be a digital integrated circuit serving the control functions hereinafter enumerated, including timing functions, calculations of the number of dose actuations, memory recordings, visual and auditory indicators and reporting data to a printer. Actuating the ASIC 36 is a microswitch 42, at least partially within enclosure 30 and mounted for closed, indirect access to the hollow 20 through aperture 44. The term "indirect access" as used herein means that exposure of microswitch 42 to the hollow 20 is shielded by a barrier 46 to be described more fully hereinafter. The nature of barrier 46 is such as to complete the hermetic sealing of enclosure 30, i.e.; it is substantially air and moisture-proof. An optional random access memory (RAM) and/or programmed read only memory (PROM) means 48 is electrically connected to the ASIC 36. The memory means 48 is associated with the ASIC 36 so that a history of the number of actuations remaining can be maintained, together with, for example the date and time of use, for analysis later by the patient's physician in evaluating the patient's condition. The RAM and/or PROM means 48 can be a bubble memory, hysteresis memory or any known memory device. The hermetic sealing of the electronic components within enclosure 30 can be further protected by overcoating the entire assembled circuit within enclosure 30 with a waterproof resin, such as, for example, a polyimide resin or a parylene resin.

FIG. 5 is a front view in perspective of the inhaler 10, including enclosure 30 and showing an example of a preferred instrument panel 50 for use of the microelectronic means employed in the invention. As shown, the instrument panel 50 can include a LED 52 to give visual warning when the aerosol canister 16 is nearing empty. A LED 52 can also give warning when battery life is approaching an end, activated by low threshold voltage in the battery. The LCD 54 can visually give an alpha-numeric reading of the number of doses remaining and optionally other data such as a display 56 of a date and time of last use, battery condition, alarm signals and other data information. As also shown in FIG. 5, the inhaler 10 can also include optionally, a removable cover 25 for the oral mouthpiece at end 22 and a removable cover 27 for frictional fit on the bottom of canister 16 to aid in closing the hollow 20. When the cover 27 is depressed firing the canister 16, the microswitch 42 is closed as described more fully below. An example of the electrical circuitry suitable for the operation of the above described microelectronic means is set forth in the FIG. 6.

The ASIC 36 may be programmed by the manufacturer, to sense and countdown the predetermined number of doses remaining in canister 16 after each use of the assembled apparatus. It can, for example, be programmed to operate as follows:

When a full canister 16 is put into the inhaler 10, depressed and held down for 6 seconds (or any predetermined period for which the unit is programmed), the microelectronic means will reset the electronic counter to 0 and start the count process. This may register on an LCD 54 as, for example, "200" to give a visual count of doses held in the canister 16. While the canister 16 is held down, an audible tone from signalling device 38 may continue for and stop after a predetermined period, for example 6 seconds, to signal that the reset is complete. Alternatively, the ASIC 36 may be programmed to flash the LED in place of an audible tone. During normal usage, the canister 16 may be removed at any time for washing the inhaler 10 and then replaced without altering the ongoing count. After a pre-determined number of resets, for example 12, the LED 52 can be activated to flash continuously to indicate that battery life is nearing termination and that the whole unit of inhaler 10 should be replaced (rather than changing the battery). In view of a battery life indicator, the inhaler 10 is advantageously disposable after use with 12 canisters (or any other number determined by battery size). The dose counter microelectronic means audibly or visually signals after 180 of 200 doses (or any set number) have been dispensed. A red LED 52 may be programmed to flash twice a second for 10 seconds on each use after 180 doses have been administered. After a further 10 doses are dispensed, for instance at dose 191, an audible tone may sound a number of times after each inhaler 10 use indicating the count of remaining doses, upon reaching the final dose, there can be a long sustained audible tone or constant illumination of LED 52 of perhaps 10 seconds duration.

The microelectronic circuit is preferably attached to, or an integral part of, the inhaler 10 at a location on the tube 12. The instrument panel 50 is advantageously visible during use, to the user (patient). Inhaler 10 can accommodate canisters 16 of any volume capacity, for example, 150, 180 or 200 dose units, etc. With a typical 200 dose Albuterol® canister for use by asthmatics, the inhaler 10 of FIGS. 1-3 may function as follows:

The Application Specific integrated Circuit (ASIC) 36 is set at manufacture for a total count of 200 doses. Each time the patient depresses the medication canister 16 for an inhaled dose of Albuterol®, an internal or external micro-switch 42 is closed by the downward motion of the canister 16. The microswitch 42 closure triggers the microelectronic means to subtract "one" from any visual indicia count shown by LED 54 and/or flash the LCD 52 one time for about 0.5 seconds. This visual confirmation of count also lets the patient know that there is no battery failure and adequate medication remains for a signalled number of remaining doses. Successive uses to the, for example, 180th dose are confirmed in the same way. Starting with the 181st dose delivery, the LED 52 flashes several times after depressing the canister (perhaps 20 flashes in 10 seconds). This visual signal indicates it is time to seek a refill of the prescribed medication. The signal with each successive dose, repeats to the final dose remaining, (200th), at which time the LED 52 may be programmed to stay on until the battery exhausts or the canister 16 is replaced.

Alternatively, the ASIC 36 can be programmed so that in order for the inhaler 10 to be reusable, the count must be reset when each new canister 16 is introduced. In this version, reset to indicate the number of doses held by a fresh canister 16 may be accomplished by inserting and depressing the new canister 16 for a period of time, for example 5 to 6 seconds. The LED 52 will turn off indicating the reset is complete and the countdown function will start over with the next administered dose. Also, in this alternative at the 200th dose rather than the LED 52 remaining on until the battery fails, an extended blinking period, say 20 seconds, with subsequent shut off may be desirable. One further addition can be an audible alarm which signals the end of useful canister 16 life. We anticipate that the reusable inhaler 10 powered by a conventional lithium battery can be used for about 12 canisters 16. After the 12th canister 16, the inhaler 10 unit would signal the need for replacement by having the LED 52 remain on.

As a further alternative, in conjunction with an LCD 54, the ASIC 36 can be programmed to provide a liquid crystal display (LCD) giving time and date since last dose, number of doses in the past 24 hours and total number of doses remaining. Here too, reset means can be by holding the canister 16 fully depressed for 5 or 6 seconds (or any other predetermined amount of time). The memory means 48 can of course continue to retain previous information (prior to reset) for later evaluation by the patient's physician.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that an important aspect of the present invention requires a particular trigger to actuate the microelectronic means of countdown. There are several embodiment triggers which will actuate the countdown. In a preferred embodiment inhaler 10 of the invention, the microswitch 42 is a membrane type of electrical switch, such as the well known dome or so-called "bubble" type of electrical contact switch. In this embodiment of FIG. 1, the barrier 46 is a resilient, waterproof barrier sealing the orifice 44, but inwardly movable to close the dome microswitch 42. Pressure from contact with the downward sliding canister 16 in hollow 20 as it passes over the barrier 46 serves to close the microswitch 42 and thereby message a "count" to the ASIC 36.

Alternatively, the microswitch 42 can be a pneumatic pressure responsive switch, the barrier 46 again being of a resilient, waterproof material. Inhalation through end 22 of tube 12 by a patient reduces the ambient pressure in hollow 20. The reduced pressure (vacuum) is sensed by a pressure transducer type of switch 42, sending the message of use for a count to the ASIC 36.

Another microswitch 42 can be of the type responsive to electromagnetic radiation, including reflected light. For example, microswitch 42 may be a light sensor, such as, for example, a LITROXIX BPX-65 sensor connected through the memory means 48 to ASIC 36, and capable of reading the universal product code (UPC) generally imprinted on the canister 16 by the manufacturer. In this case, barrier 46 is light transparent and a source of light such as a red LED in conjunction with the light sensor compresses the microswitch 42 when the UPC code is recognized by memory means 48. UPC readers are well known in the art, and can be, for example, one such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,443,694. In this embodiment, when canister 16 is depressed, to align the imprinted UPC with the light sensor, the microprocessor 36 is messaged by recognition in the memory means 48 to effect a countdown.

Alternatively microswitch 42 could be, for example, a proximity switch or an optical sensor to monitor a sight line focused on a spot or pattern imprinted on an inner wall of tube 12 and triggered by obstruction of the spot or pattern from the downward moving canister 16.

Alternatively, a sleeve 17 can be fitted on the canister 16 to slide with canister 16 into the hollow 20 as shown in FIG. 1 (as an option). The leading edge 19 of the sleeve 17 can function to trip the microswitch 42 within the hollow 20, by any of the aforementioned means, replacing contact with the canister 16.

Furthermore, the microswitch 42 can also be located outside of hollow 20, for example, on the exterior of tube 12, as will be described more fully below.

In still another embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIG. 7, a side-view in perspective, the inhaler 10 is a prior art apparatus modified only in that a ring stop 60 is integrally molded on the exterior surface of tube 12, a distance distal to the open end 14. The canister 16, upturned and received in the hollow 20 in the normal fashion is fitted with a snap fitting clasp 62, which firmly holds the enclosure 30 with its contained microelectronic means on the canister 16 as described above. The only difference between the embodiment of FIG. 7 and the embodiments of FIGS. 1-3 are that the enclosure 30 is not a part of the tube 12, but becomes an integrated part of the canister 16. The microswitch 42 is on the leading edge of the enclosure 30 as shown in the FIG. 7. In operation, when the canister 16 is depressed within hollow 20, the barrier enclosed microswitch 42 on the leading edge of enclosure 30 makes contact with stop 60 and is thereby triggered as described above. In this embodiment, a simple dome or membrane switch is preferred as the microswitch 42. The microelectric means of FIG. 7 can be reused a number of times with a plurality of canisters 16, and can also be used by retrofitting on existing and known inhalers. The modification comprises simple attachment of a stop 60 to the tube 12 by adhesive or other conventional means, at a point which will make contact with the microswitch 42 when the enclosure 30 carried on canister 16 is moved downward.

In a preferred embodiment inhaler 10 of the invention, the microswitch 42 is an electromagnetic proximity sensor, such as for example the proximity sensor described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,227,764. Referring to FIG. 10, a cross-sectional view of a portion of an inhaler 10" is shown wherein components analogous to those found in the inhaler 10 of FIG. 1 are similarly numbered, but with double prime marks. The inhaler 10" differs essentially from the inhaler 10 in that the microswitch 42 is an electromagnetic proximity sensor 42" enclosed within the enclosure 32" and mounted on the printed circuit board 34". There need be no aperture through the wall of tube 12" into the hollow 20". The sensor 42" will sense a disruption in the electromagnetic field generated by an oscillator. The disruption may be caused by movement of the canister 16" or in the case of the embodiment of FIG. 8 by movement of the diaphragm 68. In either case, the sensor signals a count to the ASIC 36" which then functions as previously described. The proximity switch 42" preferably consists of a capacitor on the printed circuit board 34" which is part of a comparator circuit. When the canister 16" is depressed to the discharge position the comparator detects the movement due to a change in capacitive coupling. The extremely low energy required by the capacitor circuit presents neither power consumption or radio frequency (rf) concerns. Since operational frequency span can be well defined, false triggering by keys or change in one's pocket or purse near the inhaler 10" does not pose a problem. The preferred proximity switch 42" as shown in FIG. 10 and in the circuit of FIG. 12 consists of two capacitors, 200 and 202 the outputs, of which go to a comparator (not shown). The comparator is designed to generate a logic output indicating which is the larger capacitance. One capacitor, 200 the reference, has a fixed value. A second capacitor, 202 the sensing capacitor, could be traces on the circuit board, two copper trails approximately 0.1" wide×0.25" long with 0.05 spacing. All of the circuit board 34 including the capacitor 202, is covered with an insulating parylene resin coating. As long as the sensor capacitance 202 is lower than the reference capacitor 200, the output of the comparator to which they are connected is low. When the drug canister 16" carrying capacitor 200 comes close to the sensing capacitor 202, capacitance increases and comparator output shifts high providing the signal for a count function. An alternative proximity switch uses coils instead of capacitors and measures changes in inductance as the canister 16" comes into proximity with the sensing coil.

The embodiments of FIG. 10 may be fabricated by retrofitting a conventional inhaler of the prior art by attachment of the enclosure 30".

Attachment of enclosure 30" requires no modification of the tube 12". A plastic enclosure 30" is secured on tube 12" by ultrasonic or solvent bonding.

Many modifications of the above described preferred embodiments of inhaler 10 and 10" may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention. For example, a memory means 48 can be utilized to record the number and dates of use of the inhaler 10 or 10" for subsequent downloading into a written record. Through an input/output unit conventional printer the record can be printed and reviewed by the patient's physician. To facilitate downloading to a printer, the terminal 58 on the instrument panel 50 (see FIG. 5) can facilitate a connection to transmit signals from the memory 48.


As appreciated by those skilled in the art, prior art inhalers are also known which hold the canister 16 in an immobile position, the valve being actuated by movement of the stem 18 inward and outward of the canister 16. Representative of U.S. Patents describing such inhalers are U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,565,070; 4,803,978; 4,955,371; 5,060,643 and the like. This type of inhaler is illustrated in FIG. 8, a cross-sectional side view of an inhaler 10'. In FIG. 8, component parts analogous to those shown in the inhaler 10 of FIGS. 1-3 are numbered with corresponding numbers, followed with a prime mark; i.e.; 10'. As can be seen in FIG. 8, the inhaler 10' differs from the inhaler 10 previously described in that canister 16' is held in a stationary position within the hollow 20' of tube 12'. An air chamber 64 is partitioned from hollow 20' by a flexible diaphragm 68 upon which the element 23' is centered and affixed. In this manner, the canister 16' is held in a fixed position while element 23' is movable in respect to stem 18' so that in response to movement upward or downward by the diaphragm 68 element 23' moves stem 18' inward and outward of the canister 16' for release of a metered dose of the formulation contained in the aerosol canister 16'. The diaphragm 68 is the actuating trigger, moved upward by the vacuum created in hollow 20' when a patient inhales orally upon the mouthpiece at end 22'. Upon cessation of inhalation, the pressure in hollow 20' matches the air pressure in chambers 64 and the diaphragm 68 returns to the lower position (second or normal position) withdrawing the stem 18' and placing the valve in a charged condition for release of the next dose to be administered. In this embodiment, the microswitch 42' is closed by movement of the diaphragm 68 upward into the hollow 20'.


Metered dose inhalers are also known in which a solid medication can be delivered in a solution mixed therein from a contained solid form of the medication. Optionally, the solid pharmaceutical can be administered in solid, micronized form; see for example the inhalers described in the U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,524,769; 4,534,345; 4,667,668; 4,668,218; 4,805,811 and 5,337,740. In general, these inhalers function to administer the medication through use of the air flow generated by the patient's oral inhalation (U.S. Pat. No. 4,524,769) or with a propelling, pressurized gas, such as for example, the inhaler of the U.S. Pat. No. 4,667,668, FIG. 1. A quantity of solid medication may be charged to the inhaler of the U.S. Pat. No. 4,667,668, FIG. 1, as shown in the accompanying drawing of FIG. 9. As shown in FIG. 9, the medication 100 is charged to a holding chamber 102 and feeds a rotating membrane 104. When rotated, the membrane 104 receives a quantity of the solid medicament and carries it to a position 106 where it can be discharged to the opening 108 for oral inhalation. A thumb-wheel 110 enables the operator to rotate the membrane 104 for presentation of each dose of medicament to position 106. The medicament 100 is carried from the position 106 to the opening 108 by a stream of propellant from canister 112, upon activation of the inhaler as follows. The valve 114 is opened to release propellant from canister 112 by depression of the portion of tilting lever 116 by pressing trigger 118. With the valve 114 open, liquid or gaseous propellant passes by conduit 120 to dosing chamber 122. When the chamber 120 is filled with propellant, pressure on the tilting lever 116 above the valve 114 ceases, valve 114 closes and the spring 124 in valve 114 assists in closure. Now valve 130 is opened by depressing the trigger 132 upon that portion of tilting lever 116, whereupon the propellant in chamber 122 and conduit 120 is released via conduit 134 to position 106, carrying the dose of medication out of the rotatable membrane 104. The microelectronic means of the present invention can be advantageously connected to the rotation of the thumb-wheel 110 to function with a countdown each time a dose of medication is carried to position 106. The microswitch 42 is advantageously a simple dome type of switch as described above.

Where U.S. patents are referred to above, the contents of their disclosures are thereby incorporated herein by the reference thereto.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention is broad in scope, and many modifications can be made to the preferred embodiments described above without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention. For example, as shown in FIG. 11, a view-in-perspective of a further embodiment inhaler of the invention, it can be seen that the tube 12 of the invention can be completely enclosed by having the ends 14, 22 covered by respective covers 27, 25 (the latter being hinged 208 to the exterior of the tube 12. An LCD 54 is positioned on a rear surface of an enclosure 30 which is completely integrated with tube 12 in order to contain the microelectronics. Within the hollow (not seen in FIG. 12) of the tube 12 is positioned a solid or aerosol formulation as described for the embodiments A-C above. Access to the formulations is by removal of the cover 27.

Further, although the preferred embodiments of the invention have been described above as employing sophisticated microelectronic means for indicating the number of formulation doses remaining for further administration to the patient, a relatively simple embodiment includes employment for the microelectronics of a relatively simple count register or "event counter", which will function as a dose administration counter. As diagrammed in the illustration of FIG. 13, the event counter can include a battery 32 mounted on a circuit board 34 with an ASIC 36 and an LED 52 and a momentary microswitch 42, for example a Panasonic EVQQEDO4K. A "Z" clip 35 completes the circuitry. As shown in the FIG. 13, the entire microelectronic circuit can be in size 12.5 mm×25 mm. In this circuit, the ASIC 36 is advantageously as shown in the block diagram of FIG. 14. Such an ASIC 36 may be programmed to include the following functions:

1. LED 52 flashes once for one second with each actuating of the momentary switch to a count of 180.

2. With each actuation from 181 to 199, LED 52 flashes 10 times in 5 seconds.

3. At actuation 200 and beyond, LED 52 comes on and stays on for 10 seconds.

4. Count can be reset to zero when LED 52 comes on after 200 switch actuations by depressing the switch and holding it down for 6 seconds. LED 52 goes off then flashes once indicating reset complete. (Reusable unit).

5. As an alternative to #4 above, at the 200th switch actuation, the LED 52 turns on and remains on until the battery is depleted. (Single use unit).

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4300548 *Dec 3, 1979Nov 17, 1981Airco, Inc.System for detecting position of gauge pointer
US4534345 *Jun 30, 1982Aug 13, 1985Aktiebolaget DracoDosage inhalator
US4677975 *Oct 16, 1985Jul 7, 1987The University Of AucklandMethod of dispensing and/or a dispenser
US4947875 *Sep 8, 1988Aug 14, 1990R. J. Reynolds Tobacco CompanyFlavor delivery articles utilizing electrical energy
US4955371 *May 8, 1989Sep 11, 1990Transtech Scientific, Inc.Disposable inhalation activated, aerosol device for pulmonary medicine
US5020527 *Feb 20, 1990Jun 4, 1991Texax-Glynn CorporationInhaler device with counter/timer means
US5224474 *Jun 10, 1991Jul 6, 1993Bloomfield John WRetrofitting gas mask voice amplifier unit with easily actuated switch means
US5227764 *Oct 15, 1991Jul 13, 1993Alpine Electronics, Inc.Electromagnetic proximity sensor
US5284133 *Jul 23, 1992Feb 8, 1994Armstrong Pharmaceuticals, Inc.Inhalation device with a dose-timer, an actuator mechanism, and patient compliance monitoring means
US5363842 *Dec 20, 1991Nov 15, 1994Circadian, Inc.Intelligent inhaler providing feedback to both patient and medical professional
US5392768 *Jan 29, 1993Feb 28, 1995AradigmMethod and apparatus for releasing a controlled amount of aerosol medication over a selectable time interval
US5394866 *Jan 29, 1993Mar 7, 1995Aradigm CorporationAutomatic aerosol medication delivery system and methods
WO1987004354A1 *Jan 23, 1987Jul 30, 1987Draco AbMedical dosing device for discharge of atomized medicament for inhalation air
WO1990010470A1 *Mar 2, 1990Sep 20, 1990Draco AbDevice in connection with an inhaler
WO1991006334A1 *Oct 31, 1990May 16, 1991Smith Kline French LabDosage dispensing devices
WO1992017231A1 *Mar 27, 1992Oct 15, 1992Innomed IncMicroelectronic inhaler having a counter and timer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5622163 *Nov 22, 1995Apr 22, 1997Iep Group, Inc.Counter for fluid dispensers
US6029659 *Apr 17, 1995Feb 29, 2000Solar Shield CorporationInhalation device with counter
US6082358May 5, 1998Jul 4, 20001263152 Ontario Inc.Indicating device for aerosol container
US6116234 *Feb 1, 1999Sep 12, 2000Iep Pharmaceutical Devices Inc.Metered dose inhaler agitator
US6142339Jan 16, 1998Nov 7, 20001263152 Ontario Inc.Aerosol dispensing device
US6161724Sep 8, 1998Dec 19, 20001263152 Ontario Inc.Indicating device
US6260549Jun 18, 1998Jul 17, 2001Clavius Devices, Inc.Breath-activated metered-dose inhaler
US6305371 *May 8, 1998Oct 23, 2001Astrazeneca AbInhalation for administering medicament by inhalation
US6318361Oct 1, 1999Nov 20, 2001Clavius Devices Inc.Breath-activated metered-dose inhaler
US6325062Oct 1, 1999Dec 4, 2001Clavius Devices, Inc.Breath-activated metered-dose inhaler
US6328037Jun 26, 2000Dec 11, 20011263152 Ontario Inc.Indicating device for aerosol container
US6336453Apr 30, 1999Jan 8, 2002Trudell Medical InternationalIndicating device for aerosol container
US6360739Jun 8, 1998Mar 26, 2002Smithkline Beecham CorporationDispenser with doses counter
US6425392 *Oct 1, 1999Jul 30, 2002Clavius Devices, Inc.Breath-activated metered-dose inhaler
US6431168Jun 8, 1998Aug 13, 2002Smithkline Beecham CorporationDispenser with doses′ counter
US6435372Sep 14, 2001Aug 20, 20021263152 Ontario Inc.Delivery system for a medicament and method for the assembly thereof
US6474331Jun 8, 1998Nov 5, 2002Smithkline Beecham CorporationDispenser with doses' counter
US6561384Jul 11, 2002May 13, 20031263152 Ontario Inc.Medicament dispensing device and method for the use thereof
US6595389Dec 12, 2001Jul 22, 2003Ing. Erich Pfeiffer GmbhDevice for detecting the operation of a dispenser and the dispenser
US6651651 *Aug 26, 1999Nov 25, 2003Smithkline Beecham CorporationDispenser
US6651844Feb 22, 2002Nov 25, 2003Schering CorporationSpray dispenser counter
US6701917 *Jun 23, 2001Mar 9, 2004Norton Healthcare, Ltd.Dose counter for medicament inhaler
US6729330Mar 21, 2002May 4, 2004Trudell Medical InternationalIndicating device for aerosol container
US6745760Apr 12, 2002Jun 8, 2004Trudell Medical InternationalMedicament applicator
US6752153 *Aug 13, 1999Jun 22, 2004Rpc Wiko Gmbh & Co. KgInhalator comprising a dosage counting device
US6761161Oct 26, 2001Jul 13, 2004Trudell Medical InternationalIndicating device
US6820612Mar 21, 2002Nov 23, 2004Robin HarabinInhaler holster
US6932083 *Feb 14, 2001Aug 23, 2005Anthony Patrick JonesHousing for an inhaler
US6978780Mar 30, 1999Dec 27, 2005Astrazeneca AbInhalation device with a dose counting unit
US7047964Jan 24, 2002May 23, 2006Clinical Designs Ltd.Dispenser for medicament
US7107986Jun 19, 2003Sep 19, 2006Glaxo Group LimitedDispenser with doses' counter
US7234464 *Dec 18, 2000Jun 26, 2007Meda Pharma Gmbh & Co. Kg.Storage system for powdered pharmaceuticals, and inhaler equipped with this system
US7249687Jul 17, 2003Jul 31, 2007Glaxo Group LimitedMedicament dispenser
US7331340Mar 4, 2004Feb 19, 2008Ivax CorporationMedicament dispensing device with a display indicative of the state of an internal medicament reservoir
US7347200Oct 19, 2001Mar 25, 2008Smithkline Beecham CorporationMedicament dispenser
US7559322Nov 15, 2005Jul 14, 2009Trudell Medical InternationalNebulizer apparatus and method
US7568480May 30, 2006Aug 4, 2009Trudell Medical InternationalNebulizer apparatus and method
US7597099Sep 6, 2007Oct 6, 2009Glaxo Group LimitedMedicament dispenser
US7600512Dec 9, 2005Oct 13, 2009Vortran Medical Technology 1, Inc.Inhaler with breath actuated dose counter
US7621273 *Oct 18, 2004Nov 24, 2009Trudell Medical InternationalIndicating device with warning dosage indicator
US7634995 *Jun 13, 2006Dec 22, 2009Trudell Medical InternationalNebulizer apparatus and method
US7650883Mar 14, 2007Jan 26, 2010Trudell Medical InternationalDispensing device
US7661423Feb 26, 2003Feb 16, 2010Glaxosmithkline LlcDevice housing for an aerosol container
US7661557 *Jul 24, 2007Feb 16, 2010Ing. Erich Pfeiffer GmbhMetering device for a medium
US7703454 *Jul 9, 2004Apr 27, 2010Vortran Medical TechnologyInhaler with breath actuated dose counter
US7743945Jan 19, 2006Jun 29, 2010Trudell Medical InternationalDispensing device
US7757688Dec 14, 2006Jul 20, 2010Trudell Medical InternationalDispensing device
US7814900Mar 17, 2003Oct 19, 2010Clinical Designs LimitedCan fixture
US7832394Dec 22, 2004Nov 16, 2010Schechter Alan MApparatus for dispensing pressurized contents
US7849851Feb 24, 2005Dec 14, 2010Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbhNebulizer
US7886934Jan 19, 2006Feb 15, 2011Trudell Medical InternationalDispensing device
US7905228Oct 3, 2006Mar 15, 2011Trudell Medical InternationalNebulizer apparatus and method
US7954492Nov 9, 2005Jun 7, 2011Almirall, S.A.Pharmaceutical powder cartridge, and inhaler equipped with same
US8022082Jun 28, 2006Sep 20, 2011Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma Gmbh & Co., KgMethod for the administration of an anticholinergic by inhalation
US8051851Jul 18, 2005Nov 8, 2011Sofotec Gmbh & Co. KgInhaler for the administration of powdered pharmaceuticals, and a powder cartridge system for use with this inhaler
US8061352May 8, 2007Nov 22, 2011Trudell Medical InternationalAerosol delivery apparatus and method
US8091545Dec 22, 2005Jan 10, 2012Schechter Alan MApparatus for dispensing pressurized contents
US8245704Jul 21, 2006Aug 21, 2012Glaxo Group LimitedDispenser with doses' counter
US8267086Oct 24, 2003Sep 18, 2012Valois SasFluid product dispensing device with dose indicator
US8329271Dec 14, 2005Dec 11, 2012Clinical Designs LimitedMedicament container
US8375940May 25, 2007Feb 19, 2013Almirall, S.A.Storage system for powdered pharmaceuticals and inhaler equipped with this system
US8381719Dec 21, 2009Feb 26, 2013Trudell Medical InternationalMedicament delivery system with dose indicator and oversleeve actuator
US8387617 *Sep 15, 2010Mar 5, 2013John H. RobinsonCanister dosage indicator device
US8397712Jul 13, 2009Mar 19, 2013Trudell Medical InternationalNebulizer apparatus and method
US8408208Dec 10, 2004Apr 2, 2013Clinical Designs LimitedDispenser and counter
US8424517Sep 25, 2009Apr 23, 2013Nexus6 LimitedMedicament delivery devices
US8464707 *Sep 22, 2004Jun 18, 2013Takeda GmbhCompliance monitor and method
US8517019Mar 1, 2007Aug 27, 20133M Innovative Properties CompanyMethod and apparatus for metered dose dispensing
US8539945Aug 12, 2010Sep 24, 2013Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.Dose counter and recording method
US8624592Jul 27, 2010Jan 7, 2014T2 Biosystems, Inc.NMR device for detection of analytes
US8651194 *Apr 18, 2007Feb 18, 2014Hideo YoshidaFire extinguishing gas spray device
US8704517Oct 28, 2011Apr 22, 2014T2 Biosystems, Inc.NMR device for detection of analytes
US8739790 *Oct 24, 2003Jun 3, 2014Aptar France SasElectronic display device and a fluid dispenser device including such a display device
US8746238 *Jun 10, 2011Jun 10, 2014Aptar Radolfzell GmbhInhaler
US8807131Oct 15, 2013Aug 19, 2014Isonea LimitedCompliance monitoring for asthma inhalers
US8820321Oct 24, 2012Sep 2, 2014Almirall, S.A.Storage system for powdered pharmaceuticals, and inhaler equipped with this system
US8844520Feb 15, 2013Sep 30, 2014Trudell Medical InternationalNebulizer apparatus and method
US8857429Jun 13, 2008Oct 14, 2014Idtx Systems, Inc.Drug delivery and monitoring system for a ventilator
US8869791 *Dec 16, 2004Oct 28, 2014Aptar France SasFluid product dispensing device
US8869793May 18, 2011Oct 28, 2014Idtx Systems, Inc.Compact self-contained automated MDI adapters or units for ventilators
US8997735Nov 9, 2010Apr 7, 2015Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbhNebulizer
US9004063 *Aug 17, 2011Apr 14, 2015Shane M. GuldbransenPortable oxygen inhaler device
US9035765Aug 27, 2014May 19, 2015Gecko Health Innovations, Inc.Devices, systems, and methods for adherence monitoring and devices, systems, and methods for monitoring use of consumable dispensers
US20030235538 *Apr 4, 2003Dec 25, 2003Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma Gmbh & Co. KgMethod for the administration of an anticholinergic by inhalation
US20040069301 *Jan 24, 2002Apr 15, 2004Bacon Raymond JohnDispenser for medicament
US20040221840 *Dec 30, 2003Nov 11, 2004Stockman-Lamb Melissa SoynaInhaler
US20050011515 *Jul 9, 2004Jan 20, 2005Vortran Medical Technology 1, Inc.Inhaler with breath actuated dose counter
US20050028815 *Jul 23, 2003Feb 10, 2005Deaton Daniel M.Apparatus for electronic dosage counter
US20050076904 *Oct 19, 2001Apr 14, 2005Anthony Patrick JonesMedicament dispenser
US20050081846 *Mar 4, 2004Apr 21, 2005Brian BarneyMedicament dispensing device with a display indicative of the state of an internal medicament reservoir
US20050087191 *Oct 18, 2004Apr 28, 2005Robert MortonIndicating device with warning dosage indicator
US20050161467 *Apr 24, 2003Jul 28, 2005Jones Anthony P.Medicament dispenser
US20050236501 *Jun 23, 2005Oct 27, 2005Zimlich William C JrPulmonary aerosol delivery device
US20050247305 *Feb 24, 2005Nov 10, 2005Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbhNebulizer
US20050258182 *Jul 17, 2003Nov 24, 2005Anderson Gregor John MMedicament dispenser
US20050284471 *Oct 24, 2003Dec 29, 2005Valosis S.A.S.Fluid product dispensing device with dose indicator
US20060011651 *Oct 24, 2003Jan 19, 2006Valois S.A.S.Electronic display device and fluid product dispensing device comprising same
US20070240707 *Dec 16, 2004Oct 18, 2007Valois S.A.SFluid Product Dispensing Device
US20090173506 *Apr 18, 2007Jul 9, 2009Hideo YoshidaFire Extinguishing Gas Spray Device
US20090194104 *Jan 5, 2009Aug 6, 2009John David Van SickleDevice and method to monitor, track, map, and analyze usage of metered-dose inhalers in real-time
US20110031038 *Aug 9, 2010Feb 10, 2011Sagatulo, Inc.Method and device for indicating doses in a drug delivery system
US20110303221 *Dec 15, 2011Joerg KohnleInhaler
US20120012106 *Feb 9, 2010Jan 19, 2012Naseem BariCounter for a Drug Dispenser
CN1705498BOct 24, 2003Jan 2, 2013瓦卢瓦有限合伙公司Fluid product dispensing device with dose indicator
EP1216720A1 *Dec 5, 2001Jun 26, 2002Ing. Erich Pfeiffer GmbhMeans for registering the operation of an inhaler and inhaler having such means
EP1475116A2 *Jun 8, 1998Nov 10, 2004Glaxo Group LimitedDispenser with doses counter
EP1616592A1 *Jul 12, 2005Jan 18, 2006Sofotec GmbH & Co. KGInhaler for the administration of powdered pharmaceuticals, and a powder cartridge for use with this inhaler
EP1888155A1 *May 23, 2006Feb 20, 2008SHL Medical ABDose counter device for inhaler
EP1941868A2Feb 26, 2001Jul 9, 2008PharmaKodex LimitedImprovements in or relating to the delivery of oral drugs
WO1997013553A1 *Oct 9, 1996Apr 17, 1997Medtrac Tech IncElectronic medication chronolog device
WO1998056446A1 *Jun 8, 1998Dec 17, 1998Glaxo Group LtdDispenser with doses' counter
WO1999049920A1 *Mar 30, 1999Oct 7, 1999Astra AbInhalation device with a dose counting unit
WO2000038770A2 *Dec 22, 1999Jul 6, 2000Battelle Memorial InstitutePulmonary aerosol delivery device and method
WO2000044425A1 *Dec 10, 1999Aug 3, 2000Bonney Stanley GeorgeDispenser
WO2001081609A2Mar 22, 2001Nov 1, 2001Susan BarnettCompositions and methods for generating an immune response utilizing alphavirus-based vector systems
WO2001085245A1Apr 9, 2001Nov 15, 2001Iep Pharmaceutical Devices IncPneumatic breath actuated inhaler
WO2002036190A2Oct 19, 2001May 10, 2002Glaxo Group LtdMedicament dispenser
WO2002058771A1Jan 24, 2002Aug 1, 2002Bacon Raymond JDispenser for medicament
WO2004009470A2 *Jul 17, 2003Jan 29, 2004Glaxo Group LtdMedicament dispenser
WO2004039443A1 *Oct 24, 2003May 13, 2004Valois SasFluid product dispensing device with dose indicator
WO2005009325A2 *Jul 23, 2004Feb 3, 2005Kos Life Sciences IncApparatus for electronic dosage counter
WO2006008027A1 *Jul 12, 2005Jan 26, 2006Sofotec Gmbh & Co KgInhaler for the administration of powdered pharmaceuticals, and a powder cartridge system for use with this inhaler
WO2007103712A3 *Mar 1, 2007Dec 6, 20073M Innovative Properties CoMethod and apparatus for metered dosed dispensing
WO2011066107A1Nov 10, 2010Jun 3, 2011Gilead Sciences, Inc.Inhaled fosfomycin/tobramycin for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
WO2011081937A1Dec 14, 2010Jul 7, 2011Gilead Sciences, Inc.Corticosteroid-beta-agonist-muscarinic antagonist compounds for use in therapy
WO2011143105A1May 9, 2011Nov 17, 2011Gilead Sciences, Inc.Bifunctional quinoline derivatives
WO2011143106A1May 9, 2011Nov 17, 2011Gilead Sciences, Inc.Bi - functional pyrazolopyridine compounds
WO2012037038A1Sep 12, 2011Mar 22, 2012Gilead Sciences, Inc.2' -fluoro substituted carba-nucleoside analogs for antiviral treatment
WO2013003386A1Jun 26, 2012Jan 3, 2013Parion Sciences, Inc.3,5-diamino-6-chloro-n-(n-(4-(4-(2-(hexyl (2,3,4,5,6-pentahydroxyhexyl) amino) ethoxy) phenyl) butyl) carbamimidoyl) pyrazine-2-carboxamide
WO2013158776A1Apr 17, 2013Oct 24, 2013Gilead Sciences, Inc.Compounds and methods for antiviral treatment
WO2015030610A2Aug 29, 2014Mar 5, 2015Nexus6 LimitedA compliance monitor for a medicament inhaler
U.S. Classification128/200.23, 128/203.12
International ClassificationA61M11/00, B05B11/00, A61M15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61M15/009, A61M2205/3306, B05B11/3028, A61M15/0091, A61M15/008, A61M2202/064, B05B11/3073
European ClassificationB05B11/30H8, A61M15/00P
Legal Events
Nov 29, 1994ASAssignment
Effective date: 19941117
Feb 11, 1997CCCertificate of correction
Mar 3, 1998CCCertificate of correction
Feb 10, 2000FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Sep 12, 2003FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Aug 29, 2006ASAssignment
Effective date: 20041221
Oct 25, 2006ASAssignment
Effective date: 20060828
Jan 7, 2008FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12